Rhododendron

(Question)

How can I prevent squirrels from eating the flower buds? And while I am at it, they are also eating the tulips just below the flower – is there anything (humane) I can do about this?

(Answer)

During long winter months when there is an extended period of snow cover some landscape plants become a food source for rabbits, mice, squirrels and volves. Squirrels may strip bark from maples, eat buds off trees and rhododendrons, nibble on cherry, peach, pear and apple fruits, and dig up bulbs.

Squirrels are attracted to tulip bulbs and Rohodendron flowers buds. If possible, cover the rhododendrons as well as the tulip planted area with chicken wire. Tulips will grow through the chicken wire in the spring. Also, make sure you do not leave any of the papery covering (tunic) from the tulips on the ground when planting, as they attract squirrels and encourage them to dig. Sprinkling blood meal on the surface of the planting area is another deterrent. Also interspersing tulips with daffodils, hyacinth and fritillarias, may also discourage squirrels.

Good Luck!